AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn University Marching Band ignites fans and players every Autumn Saturday playing music while performing entertaining and complex formations. While the Band entertains thousands every Saturday, one Auburn Band member inspires others just by walking onto the field.
Auburn Band member Tripp Gulledge has been completely blind since he was 14-years-old and plays the French horn for the Auburn University Marching Band. He has represented Auburn this year against Jacksonville State and San Jose State, and uses a guide to navigate the field.
“It’s been one of the most life changing things I’ve done,”said Gulledge, who picked up his first instrument at the age of five.
Although excited about the opportunity to play, Gulledge remains focused on his responsibility to fellow Band members and fans.
“I tried to spend as little time as possible just sitting there thinking, ‘I’m actually on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium.’ I wanted to make sure all of my energy was focused on executing my part of the show,” Gulledge said.
Corey Spurlin, Director of the Auburn University Marching Band says that Gulledge faces real challenges everyday but that the young man’s talent shines on and off the field.
“He is a real team player,” said Spurlin.
Gulledge doesn’t attribute his story to just mere coincidence.
“If you stop for a second and think about why you are in the exact place where you are in your life, whether it’s your plan for it, or God’s plan, and devote everything you do to fulfilling your goals, and God’s purpose; everything else will fall everything will fall into place,” said Gulledge.
Tripp tells reporters that he hopes his story will inspire others to reach their goals and never give up.
The Auburn University Marching Band is directed by Dr. Corey Spurlin and with 380 members from over all over the country, the current marching band is the largest in university history.
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— John James (@john_james_20) August 19, 2015